Best Laid Plans

CUCKOO paperback – in a bookshop near you, at a nice price

So, I didn’t keep up my resolution to post here three times a week during NaNovember. Man, it’s hard, writing 50,000 words in a month. Even when it’s the day job. Nearly there, though. Just 1500 to do tomorrow before midnight. Might just about do it.

Hats off to everyone who has managed to get their novel written this month. Especially if you’ve had to fit it around work, children, aged parents, ill pets, whatever.… read more

Poised, ready to dive in

Yesterday I lugged all 450 pages of the Every Vow You Break manuscript – with line-edits and my own final alterations – up to London to hand over to Leah, my editor at Headline. Tomorrow, I start on Bad Jean. Although character, place and story are pretty well formed in my head, I have not yet written one single word. Eek.

Looking back over this blog, I realise, with a little frisson of horror, that by November 24 2010 I was printing out the first draft of Every Vow You Break.… read more

Line Edit Fun

Keith and Sandy 'helping' me edit Every Vow You Break

First, my excuses for not posting in over a month – ‘very bad for the blogging profile’ according to internet wisdom.

  1. Life: I’ve been busy packing Big’Uns off to University, preparing LittleSon for Secondary School and settling in my half-empty-nester consolation prize of two kittens named Keith and Sandy. While OldMan has been away, directing The Taming of the Shrew at the RSC (la di dah).
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Nearly There Now

Editor Leah got back with her notes for draft two of Every Vow You Break (formerly known as Novel #2). There were two of them: 1) it’s brilliant and 2) she loves it. The story, plot, character and setting notes from draft one are now all fixed! Hurrah!

Before it goes to the copy editor, though, I’ve asked for another couple of weeks to get right on down to the word level, polishing each sentence so that it conveys as succinctly as possible what I am trying to say.… read more

What I did on my Holidays part 1: Pilgrimage

Can't believe I'm actually here.

Top of my list to do while we were in the Bay Area around San Francisco  (after finishing the second draft of Every Vow You Break, of course) was to visit my Alma Mater – the Office of Letters and Light, out of which NaNoWriMo is given to the world every November.

Now then, if you have read this blog for a bit, or if you have ever bumped into me anywhere, you will know that I am a bit evangelical about NaNoWriMo, so feel free to skip the next para or two.… read more

What I Learned While Editing…

3 am, San Francisco Hotel bathroom

I’ve not been around for a while because, among other things, I have had my head down on draft 2 of novel #2. I had some fantastic notes from EditorLeah, AgentSimon and AsstAgentAriella, and have been working on them, weaving new plotlines back and forth, making sure the little boy doesn’t age rather too rapidly to serve the story (!) and cutting out one of the two prologues and one of the secret rooms.… read more

And Back to Work

What I did in my holidays. Come and see this if you fancy 'a rather tiresome sight gag involving leopard-print underpants' (Independent)

I just got my editor’s notes through, and I’m very excited. It has been a long wait, with me alternating between telling myself that a) she is very busy and has lots of notes to write for lots of novels and b) that the novel has revealed itself to be so full of problems and loopholes and red herrings and, just, well, shite writing, that it is taking her far longer than she anticipated.… read more

Cuckoo is a TV Star

They're smiling, so I think they like it...

Cuckoo was reviewed on Channel 10’s May Book Club on Australian TV. It got some hearty reviews from readers, but an overall thumbs up – although, frustratingly, I can’t see the video because I’m outside Australia.

I have had a week of domestic and administrative tasks while my editor reads novel #2. Nothing takes the mind off work like a bit of shelf-erecting. Oh, and I branched out into my other job over the weekend to twiddle the lighting knobs for OldMan’s show my arm, which he performed in Schaffhausen in Switzerland.… read more

But is the husband me?

So, the verdict on the first draft of novel #2 is out.

AgentSimon: “Fucking hellfire, that’s a good book.” Followed by lots of suggestions for improvement, ending with the wonderful words “You aren’t a one-hit wonder”. Which is what a second-time novelist needs to hear from her agent. AssistantAriella has since got back to me with a list of wonderful notes, that are all going into the second draft.

OldMan: “It’s great. But is Marcus-the-husband me?” Me: “No, of course not**.… read more

I Love Kemp Town Bookshop

So this is what you see when you walk in the door at the wonderful Kemp Town Bookshop in Brighton.

I went in the other day while Big and Little Sons were having their hair cut over the road at Barber Black Sheep (proud holder of the title of  best named shop in Britain), and introduced myself as a local author. They ordered the Cuckoos, and when I went in to sign them this morning, look where they had put them!… read more